PharmaSat Features and News

PharmaSat Mission Update, June 12, 2009

PharmaSat Launches from Wallops Island, Va.

The PharmaSat nanosatellite has successfully completed an experiment that could help scientists better understand how effectively drugs work in space.

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NASA Successfully Launches Nanosatellite

PharmaSat Launch - Image of Rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

NASA's PharmaSat nanosatellite successfully launched at 4:55 p.m. PDT on May 19 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at Wallops Island, Va.

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May 8 PharmaSat Scrub Update

Pharmasat Logo

On Friday, May 8, 2009, in the last minutes of the countdown before launch of the Minotaur 1 rocket carrying NASA's PharmaSat, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., detected a Flight Te...

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Pharmasat Nanosatellite

    The satellite payload sits fully assembled, covered in shiny solar panels (NASA/ARC/Christopher Beasley)The satellite payload sits fully assembled, covered in shiny solar panels.
    Image Credit: NASA/ARC/Christopher Beasley.

    NASA will fly the PharmaSat nanosatellite as a secondary payload aboard the U.S. Air Force four-stage Minotaur 1 rocket.

    PharmaSat weighs approximately 10 pounds. It contains a controlled environment micro-laboratory packed with sensors and optical systems that can detect the growth, density and health of yeast cells and transmit that data to scientists for analysis on Earth. PharmaSat will also monitor the levels of pressure, temperature and acceleration the yeast and the satellite experience while circling Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. Scientists will study how the yeast responds to an antifungal treatment to learn more about drug action in space, the satellite's primary goal.

    Mission Description
    After PharmaSat separates from the Minotaur 1 rocket and successfully enters low Earth orbit at approximately 285 miles above the Earth, it will activate and begin transmitting radio signals to two ground control stations. The primary ground station at SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., will transmit mission data from the satellite to the spacecraft operators in the mission control center at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. A secondary station is located at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, Calif. When NASA spaceflight engineers make contact with PharmaSat, which could happen as soon as one hour after launch, the satellite will receive a command to initiate its experiment, which will last 96 hours. Once the experiment begins, PharmaSat will relay data in near real-time up to six months, to mission managers, engineers and project scientists for further analysis.

PharmaSat Resources

Media Contacts

    For media support regarding the PharmaSat mission, please contact:

    Rachel Prucey
    NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
    Phone: 650-604-0643